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If I didn’t need a job, I’d probably… April 10, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in career, family, grad school, personal, work.
Tags: , ,

I am always amused when listening to people talk about what they’d do if they didn’t have to work.  I sort of found out for myself: I’d probably work.

I had a couple years as a stay-at-home mom, where I primarily was homeschooling the older child.  I also had a stint doing it when he was a toddler.  I sometimes fantasize about staying home with the younger boy, who would be much easier to homeschool than the older boy was.

Then my husband reminds me that’s not a good idea: I was pretty much going batty by the end of it.

I bring this up because Nicoleandmaggie posted about this, saying boredom would be a problem.  Oh, was it ever.  I cannot spend all day at home with a child.  Believe it or not, I had nearly a spotless house (you’d die laughing if you saw my house now), was taking care of getting kids to appointments, homeschooling, even working on an MSEE part-time…

And going completely nuts.

I really immersed myself in dancing during this period because it was one of the best ways to interact with other adults outside of school.  Unfortunately, regular training, teaching classes, and spending time outside of structured dance time did nothing to help the boredom.  It kept me busy, but not stimulated.  My classes (which I was doing pretty much one per semester) were about all that kept me sane.

The year the older boy hit middle school, he decided he wanted to go to public school full time, and I decided it was time to finish my MA.  My dancing dropped off significantly, I was working on teaching or research or homework almost every night.  And I was much, much happier.

I guess what that made me realize is that I really, really need to have intellectual stimulation, and reading Scientific American just isn’t enough to do it for me.  I like working on problems, figuring things out, working towards a goal.  If I were to win the lotto, I suspect I would just keep doing the same thing, probably by funding my own research.  (Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to find someone to pay you to do it?)  I think the biggest difference is that I’d probably be able to go on trips more often.



1. What would you do if you didn’t have (to have) a job? « Grumpy rumblings of the untenured - April 10, 2012

[…] Cherish the scientist talks about boredom. […]


2. abbireads - April 10, 2012

If I suddenly won the lotto, I certainly wouldn’t keep my job. There are too many other people who need/want it. No, I’d go do research, delve into some major archives, and actually write the two or three books I have rattling around my head.

That’s how you know I’m a nerd: my lotto fantasy involves research. And archives.


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